AUBURN — Officers Monday morning fired 10 to 15 rounds into a cow bound for the slaughterhouse after it escaped its trailer by the Minot Avenue rotary and caused a scene for 45 minutes.

Deputy Chief Jason Moen said police were called around 10 a.m. when a cow being transported by Harvest Hill Farm in Mechanic Falls kicked its trailer door open and bolted, running in and out of traffic and ending up at Maine Oxy, which is located off Washington Street near the rotary.

“While there, it knocked over a couple of cylinders,” Moen said. “And based upon the condition of the cow, the area, the danger associated with it, the owner requested us to put the cow down.”

“It took us a little while to set up a safe shooting solution because of Maine Oxy and the flammable gases they have there, but once we got that established, it took about 10 to 15 rounds to put the cow down because it was so adrenalined and crazy.”

Truck driver John Ethridge said the cow had been bound for the slaughterhouse because of a medical issue that prevented her from breeding. Earlier reports that she had an issue making her mean weren’t correct, he said.

“The reason why she acted like she did, I’m sure, is because she jumped out of the back of a moving trailer,” Ethridge said. “She turned mean when there was 30 guys trying to corral her, all those tanks. She was out of her element, totally, and it just made her real crazy. But she was perfectly healthy and I would have perfectly ate her.”


He also disputed an earlier police report that the cow trampled two people. He said he was pushed by the cow, but was fine. Another man, a Maine Oxy contractor who declined to give his name, said he was stepped on while trying to help corral it.

Neither required medical attention.

“I felt bad for her,” Ethridge said. “We just couldn’t get her calmed down with all the excitement. We had to finally put her down before she hurt somebody.”

Another cow in the trailer didn’t escape, held back by a partition.

Five to six police officers responded. The cow was dead by 10:45 a.m.

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